Lifeboat ex “Arne Kjøde”

Early 20thC   clinker built, copper fastened ships lifeboat to the 11,019gt Norwegian oil tanker M/T Arne Kjøde which was herself built by Deutsche Werft AG, Betrieb Finkenwärder, Hamburg in 1938.

This lifeboat was used in earnest when the M/T Arne Kjøde was torpedoed by U-41 (Commander Kapitänleutnant Gustav-Adolf Mugler) north west of the Outer Hebrides on the 12 November 1939. Of the ship’s complement, 5 died and 35 survived. At the time of the sinking the M/T Arne Kjøde was a ‘neutral’ vessel and unescorted. M/T Arne Kjøde was the first Norwegian ship to be torpedoed without warning and sunk in WW2 (it was not the first Norwegian ship to be sunk in WW2 as another Norwegian ship had already sunk after hitting a German mine).

The sinking of the M/T Arne Kjøde was to be cited as an ‘atrocity’ during the post-war Nuremburg trial of Admiral Donitz, Norway having been a neutral country at the time of the sinking.

Link to a picture of M/T Arne Kjøde in Cape Town, South Africa taken 1938/9. Lifeboats are to the stern of the vessel.

Skibsregister 1939 – Classification Registration for M/T Arne Kjøde #214
The stern section of M/T Arne Kjøde 15th November 1939 after the torpedo attack. The British warship HMS Isis (D87) is shown on the left

Royal Navy reports following the sinking of M/T Arne Kjøde

May 2019
Field trip to check on the condition of the boat which is still lying on the beach just above the high water line.

Sep 2019
Field trip to prepare the site and clean out bruk from the inside of the boat to allow an inspection of the keel and lower boards.

Oct 2019
Removed the cabin and surrounding decking. Removed the old fuel tanks and prepared the engine to be lifted out.

A return visit saw the old engine lifted out so as to reduce weight within the hull. we then dragged AKL (short for Arne Kjøde Lifeboat) up the slope so that we could get her lifted onto suitable road transport in future.

A short while later we managed to schedule a lift and move to covered storage in Stromness.

Bruck was removed from the interior of the hull to help even drying of the wood